LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — When Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck sat down with CBS2's Pat Harvey last month, he talked about his lifelong love of motocross. It was still a small, specialty sport when he was growing up in Long Beach in the 1960s and 70s.
"There were only a handful of people who could make a living at it, so the rest of us were forced to find other things," Beck said. "So my other thing was policing."
His "Plan B" worked out pretty well. He joined the LAPD in 1977, working his way up to the position of chief in 2009. Beck never gave up his hobby, continuing to ride and compete in his off time. He sees several parallels between policing and riding.
"Motocross has a lot of decision making," he says. "There's a lot of consequences for bad decisions. You have to understand and live within your abilities."
That's something the chief was dealing with Sunday night. The LAPD says he was in the Tehachapi Mountains Saturday, riding off-road with a group of friends when he fell on a rocky trail, fracturing his pelvis. He was able to ride his bike back to his truck, then drive to a local hospital to get emergency care.
Sunday he put these messages out on Twitter:
Doctors say Beck may undergo surgery tomorrow, but he's expected to recover and return to the office within the next week. He continues to receive messages of support from law enforcement agencies around California, including one from the Palm Springs Police Department.
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